Aston Villa are reportedly still in the mix to sign Uruguayan icon Luis Suarez this summer, according to journalist Gregg Evans.
Writing on Twitter, the respected Villa correspondent wrote just three simple words that are likely to get pulses racing – “Suarez waiting game” – with the Midlands outfit seemingly still bidding to sign the 35-year-old.
In his attached piece for The Athletic, Evans revealed that the Atletico Madrid man – who is set to depart the Spanish capital upon the expiry of his contract this summer – is ‘still under consideration’ by the Villa Park outfit, ahead of a potential free transfer deal.
The report goes on to suggest that manager Steven Gerrard has been ‘in regular contact’ with his former Liverpool teammate regarding a possible return to the Premier League, although the veteran marksman is also likely to have options to move elsewhere.
Villa are believed to be eyeing a new left-sided defender, a midfielder and a striker prior to the start of next term, as per the report, despite having already made three statement signings thus far.
Although the 132-cap international remains a controversial figure, particularly in England, it is his undeniable quality on the pitch that would make him such a coup for NSWE, with the club’s supporters already likely to have been impressed by the eye-catching early business.
The arrival of Suarez, however, would no doubt be the cherry on top of the icing, with the Villans arguably in need of a striker of such pedigree to help fire them into contention for a European berth.
Concerns about his age would be understandable, although this is a man who two years ago fired Diego Simeone’s side to the La Liga title with 21 league goals, having also added a further 11 league goals in the most recent campaign.
The £9m-rated man’s former club Barcelona have already made the mistake of thinking he was over the hill, with Gerrard likely to overlook his advancing years to bring in a player who he has seen cause carnage in English football first-hand.
Plucked from Ajax on deadline day in January 2011 – alongside the more high profile capture of Andy Carroll – the dynamic forward arrived at Anfield as something of an unknown quantity, although quickly cemented himself as the Reds’ talisman, scoring 69 goals and registering 23 assists in just 110 league games for the club.
With 31 goals in the 2013/14 campaign, the £263k-per-week machine almost singlehandedly dragged the Merseysiders to the league title, before a late collapse in the closing weeks of the season proved costly for Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Since then, the one-time Groningen man has won a plethora of major honours and netted with remarkable consistency, notably bagging a simply sensational 194 goals and registering 113 assists in just 284 games in all competitions during his time at the Nou Camp, before adding a further 40 goal contributions in 84 games in Madrid.
His powers may be somewhat on the wane – with last season’s league tally his lowest in a decade – although it is hard to deny just what a force of nature he is in and around the penalty area.
It may not be a long-term approach, but signing the “phenomenal” gem – as he has been dubbed by Gerrard – will no doubt ramp up both the excitement and expectancy among Villa supporters.